Dear mermastic and mermazing creatures of the deep and shallow,
It was my favorite day of the summer in New York: the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island, which is actually the sort-of first day of summer when the mermaids march across the beach and throw fruit in the sea as a pagan gesture to celebrate the solstice. I was a bit bummed before we set out for Coney because I read during the winter that my favorite bar in New York, Ruby's, had finally and sadly been evicted from their legendary space on the boardwalk....but halfway through the parade my friend Nancy suggested we walk over and see if by some miracle there was a new bar there that might be tolerable....and lo and behold, the old Ruby's was still there!
Turns out there were so many protests from all the Ruby's regulars that the landlord agreed to renegotiate their lease....so they have another year here and it will be a year-by-year situation moving forward. My Mermaid Parade coverage this year is sort of in reverse....here are my photos from the during and post-parade gathering at Ruby's which was definitely the best celebration I've experienced at Ruby's since I've been hanging out there for the past 10 year or so....spirits were high, everyone was in a great mood and it was the best costume party I've been to in years. My parade photos follow.
My friend Nancy on the right with our new true blue gal pal. After hanging out here for a few hours, Nancy--who is a left-wing documentarian of the Cuban Revolution--pronounced Ruby's revelers "the new America."
Me and a bat-winged clown.
This guy's headpiece seemed inspired by mermaids from Mordor (click photo to see details)
America may be an empire in decline but what makes this country still great is the freedom to deep-throat a corn dog anywhere you please, with liberty, justice and saturated fat for all.
"I don't give a crap if you don't like my hat, because I know it's amazing."
While Nancy and I were sitting on top of the freezer and sipping our New Moon ale, Nancy turned to me and said, "There's a gay in here." I looked over and sure enough, it was Misstress Formika in all his Dior glory! I'm pretty sure those shades were the only high-fashion accessory in the joint.
I can't visit Coney Island without sucking down some fresh raw clams at Ruby's....slurrrrp!
This was the first year they had helium balloons at the parade....I didn't mind because they weren't annoying branded corporate cartoon balloons like the ones at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Somehow Marge Simpson ended up with an entourage of sea horses...
The pair of tropical fish were probably the highlight of the parade and the crowd went wild when they came careening down the boardwalk at high speed. A genius couple were riding bicycles inside them and they wove around each other erratically to mimic the movement of fish swimming.....the fish above nearly went off course and almost crashed right into us!
The hula-hoop girl was a major crowd-pleaser.
I thought this blond superhero was adorable.
A bit far from the sea, Nancy and I spotted this lone mermaid as we exited the subway in Park Slope/Gowanus on our way to visit our friend Christine after the parade.
2010 was a winning year for global galloping and I have the god Mercury (and many government and fashion & textile sponsors) to thank for a series of successful jaunts. Here are some of my highlights from over 7 international locales.
Everyone knows that Rio de Janeiro is my favorite beach destination and I was blessed to be there for my birthday back in January.
It was my third time in Rio and I finally made it out to Niteroi with my pals Carole and Arjun to see Oscar Niemeyer's Contemporary Art Museum up close and personal. We were not disappointed despite wandering around lost in the 100F unshaded sun for hours trying to find the museum.
A view inside Gaudi's sublime Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Food writer Mark Bittman of the NY Times claims the best sandwich he's ever eaten is made at Cafe Viena on La Rambla in Barcelona. He was correct. The rich, fatty ham from the black-hooved pigs raised near Seville and the perfectly baked baguette were heaven.
While in Rome at the end of January, I drifted aimlessly along the banks of the Tiber like Tennessee Williams' Mrs. Stone.
Lunch with my dear friend, the Calabrian fashion writer Nunzia Garoffolo at our favorite spot in the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere.
After Rome, I hopped down to Valencia in the south of Spain to take in some sunshine and the sight of Santiago Calatrava's eerily futuristic architecture.
Valencia is a quiet but elegant city.
The (alleged) Holy Grail in the Cathedral of Valencia
During Valencia Fashion Week I had the pleasure of meeting the divine Rossy de Palma.
In February I was back in Rio at the invitation of ABIT to attend Carnaval.
It's almost impossible to describe the mind-blowing sensory overload of the Samba School parades in the Sambadrome, the center of the Carnaval celebrations.
Mexican artist Gabriel Ibarzabal and I were shanghaied into marching with one of the Samba Schools. It took us awhile before we realized that we were dressed as the internet!
Me in Ipanema.
In March, I flew over to Los Angeles to meet up with my pal Michael Schmidt. Before we set off for Palm Springs, we had a requisite pig-out at In-N-Out Burger.
Schmidt in his '71 Camaro cruising past the famous windmills in the desert.
The sun set as we sipped organic margaritas by the Ace Hotel Palm Springs pool.
I was back in Rome in July and checked out the Zaha Hadid-designed MAXXI Museum. This gigantic skeleton sculpture is by the late artist Gino De Dominicis.
Me (center) with my Italian friends Rinaldo Rocco and Nunzia at the Bernini Fountain in Rome.
Diane Pernet and I were invited by Alex Murray-leslie of Chicks on Speed to an over-the-top Fashion Paella lunch by the sea in Barcelona. It was the paella to end all paellas.
Thousands of eccentric Elisava University students and revelers spill off Las Ramblas in Barcelona during a guerrilla performance event organized by Alex Murray-leslie who is a professor at the school.
A gaily painted apartment building in Madrid.
Lunch in Madrid. Spain is absolutely my favorite food destination.
Shopping at the psychedelic punk mall in Madrid.
A concession stand in the Museum Quartier in Vienna.
One of Otto Muehl's perverse paintings at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.
Ad for a theatrical production in Vienna. I think it was a comedy.
Vienna is a frothy fairytale facade concealing dark secrets.